Ahhhhhhh - Hate dementia, tv remotes and phones........

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Doghouse, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Doghouse

    Doghouse Registered User

    Dec 30, 2015
    Folkestone, Kent
    Ohhhh what an evening. Mum gets neighbour to call me and tell me it would be nice if I could at least call her every night. thing is most nights straight from work I go to her and stay a few hours, and on the 2 nights in the last week I didn't go in I phoned her. one night I got through the other night I couldn't as she had been playing around with the phones and it kept going into a full answer phone message. Then tonight my son and I have explained again how the remote to the tv works. every time someone goes in we have to explain and it is driving me mad. how on earth can I make it simple apart from getting rid of the tv itself. such simple things have now become such huge great issues and seem to making her worse. :mad: what I need is an old fashioned tv with an on and off button on it and 3 buttons for 3 channels. :rolleyes:
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    We used to set the TV each day for my mum with the programmes she liked but you can only make a system like that work if she can switch the tv on. I think others have had quite good experiences of some remotes
    Does she go to a day centre /lunch club to fill the days or some of them?
  3. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    I tried my dad with the zipper remote which has on off and up and down. You can programme favourite channels too
    But it didn't work for dad
    He also gets agitated where there is nothing on he likes and by the adverts
    He can't use the telephone nor the telecare help box which he keeps putting behind a wooden chest
  4. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    I'm in New Zealand, but I got one of these for my Mum ( with Alzheimers)


    She can work it just fine on her TV in her room.
    Unfortunately the main TV is on Sky, and only Dad ( with cognitive impairment) can work the Sky TV remote.
    However I have still had to confiscate the main TV remote that switches the TV off/on and tape up all the buttons on the TV apart from the On/Off switch, and then Dad uses the Sky remote to switch channels.

    Prior to taking the TV remote away, the pair of them were pressing wrong buttons and switching it from Sky back to TV, and couldn't figure out how to switch it back again.

    Mum rarely phones now, but will answer and does know how to bring up peoples numbers on the phone directory button. She often doesn't press END at the end of a call, so if people can't get through they know to ring me.
    My parents live behind me.

    Dad never phones and hardly answers the phone and leaves it for Mum.
    He does not know how to bring up the phone directory. Having a big huge phone book there with peoples numbers so he can press the buttons manually is too much for him. :rolleyes:
    As you can imagine when he wants to ring his brother back in Scotland, my Mum thinks shes doing him a huge favour by bringing up the phone number for him.
    Causes arguments :rolleyes:

    I never explain to either of them how to use any technology now. I just think of the easiest solution if possible.
    The only thing I would liem to find is a simpler phone that sounds some kind of alarm if not put back on standby after taking a call, or if Mum fiddles with it, presses the wrong button, so that no one can call as it comes up as an engaged signal.

    As far as your Mum remembering you have been to visit or have just called this is the most problematic. Hopefully someone else will be along with suggestions.
  5. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    East Yorkshire UK
    Really sorry, I haven't got helpful suggestions for most things but it was technology that should have indicated to us that Mum was moving towards dementia. She just couldn't get mobile phones or texting despite getting various computer certificates a few years earlier.

    She can only use her shower if it's left on, except for the pull cord; she can use the TV on the main five channels but if something else is accidentally pressed she thinks the TV is broken; when the remote is missing she switches it on and off at the plug so gets whatever channel it was left on.

    She also can't remember to switch off the phone after a call but does put it back on the stand usually which switches it off. Maybe a very simple phone that isn't cordless could solve that issue? She doesn't really make calls any more. We make them with her when we're there so she can speak to people she knows well. I regularly hear her say that she hasn't seen anyone or done anything during a day which I know has involved a range of things - she'll never be able to remember that she has except for in some exceptional circumstances.

    You can't teach people with dementia new things as they can't remember so you have to find alternatives. If people 'fiddle' with technology you have to divert the controls so they can't as this will always happen when things don't do what they want them to and they can't remember how to problem solve. A friend had to have a box built around their heating with a lock on it as her ex-engineer husband would regularly mess up their boiler and heating. Automatic programming would be a solution - we've done this with Mum's heating so she can't change it now but I don't know how you'd do it with TV. I suppose you could try taping over the extra buttons on the remote somehow? Mum though takes tape off anything we put it on!
  6. Dimelza

    Dimelza Registered User

    May 28, 2013
    Oh goodness this takes me back! My dad used to tell everyone he hadn't seen me for months as I was very busy. At one stage he told one of my friends who happened to be at his neighbours and found him in the street, that I was in Australia for 3 months. He was so believable she text me to check I hasten to add I was visiting at least twice a day and fielding a dozen or so phone calls too.
    As for remotes etc the bane of my life!! He used to take everything apart! In the end he was leaving it on all night anyway so we set his tv to show his programmes as mentioned above and took the remote away.
  7. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    MIL used to put the phone back in the rest across rather than vertically down the phone. She was remembering phones as they used to be. It would disconnect her fall alarm as the alert signal couldn't be transmitted via the phone. We had to hide the remote as the TV 'broke' at least three times a day.
  8. Livveywills

    Livveywills Registered User

    Jul 11, 2015
    If only I could program mums tv to play emerdale continuously on a loop, that and the nice people on the news are all she wants but she never puts the tv on at that time, and then gives up and goes to bed, then tells me that they don't have it anymore or they took it away, or the tv is broken.

    It's one of the greatest frustrations of our day. As for the phone, mum has an age UK one with pictures to press on it. It is really simple, but she doesn't put it near her face, uses it more like a walkie talkie, but at a distance from the face. She can't hear us unless we shout like mad. We can't hear her - total chaos and then when she has had enough she just leaves the phone on the shelf and walks off. We can be yelling down if for a while before we realise that she's not even there anymore!
  9. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    You have brought back memories of OH yelling down the phone to try to get her attention after MIL had gone off somewhere mid conversation.
  10. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Reminds me of the time I, foolishly, asked Mum to go and do something then come back to me. It took quite a lot of shouting down the phone before I could attract her attention again. I am learning - slowly :)
  11. Doghouse

    Doghouse Registered User

    Dec 30, 2015
    Folkestone, Kent
    Mum has now decided that she doesn't even want to mention the word television as it upsets her to much as she can no longer remember how to use it. Everyone that goes in gets asked to explain how it works but it just makes matters worse. The trouble is that mum keeps fiddling and that sometimes makes it worse.
  12. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #12 Pickles53, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    Me too, I have vivid memories of trying to talk mum through which buttons to press on the remote by phone. Eventually I learned that the answer was to phone a very kind neighbour who would go in and sort it out.

    I was also very poor at finding things she had lost in the house from 60 miles away, she was very disappointed that my psychic powers didn't work well enough.

    PS this thread should be mandatory reading for student engineers and others who are trying to design anything for dementia sufferers...
  13. Moorcroft

    Moorcroft Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    I really relate to this issue. Mum has forgotten how to use a number of electronic gadgets. TV remote isn't an issue because she no longer watches TV, due to her poor eyesight. But, she has forgotten how to use her mobile phone and claims she never knew. She no longer reads emails or uses her PC for anything except playing Patience. And, when she saw the psychiatrist last week, she complained that my brother and I bought her an iPad but never showed her how to use it (actually did about one million times).

    The worst thing is that she keeps leaving the phone off the hook. She doesn't notice the whining. That's a safety issue. Is there a solution?
  14. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
  15. Moorcroft

    Moorcroft Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    Thanks for that. The problem at the moment is that mum has a cordless phone by her bed. That's the one she leaves 'off the hook'. She is moving in the next couple of months, and I will make sure that in her new home we only have corded phones.
  16. Tessi

    Tessi Registered User

    Aug 9, 2014
    On many occasions I will be having a telephone conversation with my mum when she lays the phone down and will go off to look for something and carry on talking! Her voice becomes more and more distant and then she can't understand why she can't hear me!

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